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School of Nursing student elected regional director

By Michelle Osmond

Third-year nursing student Leslie Brown has been elected Atlantic regional director for the Canadian Nursing Schools Association (CNSA). Ms. Brown was elected at the recent CNSA 2012 national conference in Saskatoon, Sask.
Ms. Brown had no intention of running for the position until a classmate nominated her.

"I had been involved in politics back home in PEI, so I knew it would be something I would be interested in," she said. "However, I never had to actually run against someone, because they were positions only I ran for. So I wrote down notes on the back of my agenda on what was being said around me about what people wanted and had issues with and that is what I used for my speech."

CNSA has chapter schools all over the country, making up five regions. There are 10 schools in total spread across PEI, N.S., N.L. and N.B. and they recently welcomed the Nunavut College School of Nursing. Regional directors are elected by the official and associate delegate from each school in that region.

As regional director, Ms. Brown will be responsible for co-ordinating all CNSA activities and information among the chapter schools in the Atlantic provinces.

She'll also sit on the regional executive and the board of directors of CNSA, which is the national voice of nearly 30,000 Canadian nursing students.
Erin Evans, who is the associate delegate for Memorial at CNSA, nominated Ms. Brown.

"Leslie will not only represent Memorial University, but the Atlantic region as a whole," she said. "She will hold an active position on the CNSA board of directors for the upcoming year which is quite an accomplishment and reflects the calibre of the students we have at Memorial. I know Leslie is going to do an absolutely phenomenal job with this position."

Six School of Nursing students attended this year's CNSA national conference – a conference meant to engage nursing students from across the country to learn about issues within the nursing profession and ways in which they can collectively overcome challenges. The theme this year was Overcoming Challenges, Harmonizing our Voices and hosted more than 500 nursing students from across Canada.

Despite Ms. Brown's nervousness, her scattered scribbling on the back of a booklet secured her election to this prestigious position. And although she was excited and relieved to win, she says she can't see herself "at the bedside for long."

"I really love the politics of nursing, policy making and being a part of a national body that represents individuals. This is my first step to being involved in unions or associations in my nursing career and getting to a level where I can be a part of addressing the nursing issues on the front line."

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